Among those is Australia's RMIT University, which received one of the Smarter Planet awards. RMIT is helping students explore how advanced technology and sensors can play a role in building a smarter, interconnected city
Working together with students in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, students are using local real-world examples to evaluate new urban planning and development options for vital city services such as transportation, healthcare and energy.
As population rates rise, civic leaders face an unprecedented series of challenges, including massive urbanization, stressed infrastructure and economic crisis.
The project from Pace University, 'Across Cities for Cities,' involves teams of students in New York working with students from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Delhi, India, and Dakar, Senegal, developing mobile and smartphone applications for transportation, health care and education, with the solutions being implemented in each city for evaluation and improvement.
IBM created and awarded the $10,000 grants to help universities develop innovative new curricula that address the global challenges of transportation, health care, water, energy and other systems.
The new courses will prepare students for future leadership in a variety of industries by exposing them to Watson-like technologies in the classroom, sparking collaboration and innovation.
'We need to focus on developing more advanced skills so that students around the world are equipped to tackle real-world issues when they enter the workforce,' said Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM ISV and Developer Relations.
'The work of these 50 award recipients should help change the face of education by enabling students to work on pressing issues facing cities today - and at the same time prepare them for leadership in industries like healthcare and transportation.'
Videos of select award winners are available at www.youtube.com/IBMFacultyAwards.